University of Tennessee



University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine


Coming Soon...




  • 1974 -  Following the passage of state legislation to establish a veterinary college, Dr. William W. Armistead becomes the first dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine on July 15. Dr. Armistead previously was dean of Texas A & M University and Michigan State University veterinary colleges, and was author of the feasibility study that recommended the college’s establishment in Knoxville, TN.
  • 1975  -  The Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, founded by Dr. Armistead in 1974, moves to the University of Tennessee. Dr. Armistead remained as editor until 1980.
  • 1976   -  The first class of 40 students is admitted, beginning a 3-year, year-round veterinary curriculum. Earlier that year a groundbreaking ceremony was held, marking the beginning of the veterinary building’s construction.
  • 1979  -  AAVMC President Dr. Jack J. Stockton participates in an academic convocation to dedicate the new College of Veterinary Medicine academic and clinical building. The college’s first class graduates.
  • 1980  -  The veterinary building is dedicated as the Clyde M. York Veterinary Medicine Building, named after a member of the UT Board of Trustees and leader in Tennessee agriculture.
  • 1980  -  Dr. Hyram Kitchen was named dean, succeeding the founding dean Dr. Armistead, who became Vice President for Agriculture at the University of Tennessee.
  • 1980  -  The UT Comparative and Experimental Medicine major is added as an intercollegiate graduate program at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The UT Graduate School of Medicine is also involved in the program, which has graduated 117 PhD students and 42 MS students with a biomedical and veterinary research foci. The first graduate, Dr. James Guy, PhD 1984, is now a veterinary microbiologist at North Carolina State University.
  • 1983  - The college’s laboratory animal facilities receive full accreditation from the American Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Continuous AAALAC accreditation has been maintained since.
  • 1984  -  A ceremony is held to mark the college’s 10th year. National speakers included Dr. Duane Albrecht, AVMA president and Dr. Leo K. Bustad, dean emeritus of Washington State University’s veterinary school.
  • 1984  -  The Tennessee Center of Excellence for Livestock Diseases and Human Health is established at the College of Veterinary Medicine by the Tennessee Legislature.
  • 1986  -  The Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) is founded at the college by Dr. John New, and is one of the earliest animal-assisted therapy programs in veterinary academic medicine and a model for many other programs across the country.  HABIT dogs, cats and other animals visit more than 70 facilities nearly 30 years later.
  • 1987  -  The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine began publication. Dr. Al Legendre served as its first editor until 1993.
  • 1990 -   Dr. Michael Shires, former head of the Department of Rural Practice (now Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences) is named dean of the college, and served for 10 years.
  • 1991  -  Dr. Eleanor Green is selected as head of the Department of Rural Practice (now Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences), becoming the college’s first female department head, and the first female large animal clinical department head in the United States.
  • 1996  -  A memorial statue to World War II Marine war dogs is dedicated in front of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The memorial is an exact replica of the official memorial in Guam, cast by artist Susan Bahary, who created the Guam statue. It honors not only military dogs, but symbolizes the special connection people share with dogs. The statue was moved to accommodate construction twice and is now in a new prominent location in front of the Veterinary Medical Center.
  • 1999    The first cataract surgery on a bald eagle is performed at the college by Dr. Margaret Cawrse, ophthalmology resident, with assistance from Dr. Mike Jones, avian veterinarian at the college.
  • 2000 -  Dr. Michael Blackwell, Chief of Staff and Assistant Surgeon General of the U. S. Public Health Service, is named dean.
  • 2001  -  The college begins treating dog kidney stones with lithotripsy, the first veterinary college in the nation with access to on-site lithotripsy of this type.
  • 2002  -  The Veterinary Social Work Program is established at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Elizabeth Strand. Focus areas include grief and pet loss, animal-assisted interactions, the link between human and animal violence and compassion fatigue management.
  • 2003  -  Dr. David Brian is at the forefront of the international scientific community's effort to understand severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Dr. Brian’s coronavirus research aided the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in identifying the SARS virus as a coronavirus.
  • 2003   -  The college’s first hyperbaric chamber is installed for equine use, under the direction of Dr. Dennis Geiser. The University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center now houses both an on-site equine hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber and hyperbaric chamber for small animals.
  • 2004  -  A DVM/MPH degree is established at UT, with the goal of increasing the numbers of public health veterinarians.
  • 2004   - The college names the hospital the University of Tennessee W.W. Armistead Veterinary Teaching Hospital (later updated in 2010 to the UT W.W. Armistead Veterinary Medical Center). Dr. Armistead, who died in 2006, attended the ceremony.
  • 2006  -  The Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness (CAFSP) is founded and is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the safety of agriculture and the food supply through research, education and training programs. Dr. Sharon Thompson is director.
  • 2008  - Dr. Jim Thompson, executive associate dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is named dean.
  • 2008   -  The John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital, a $10 million addition to the Veterinary Medical Center, is dedicated. The facility includes oncology, physical rehabilitation and sports medicine, a linear accelerator and isolation facilities.
  • 2008  -  UT College of Veterinary Medicine’s Master Teacher Program was founded by Drs. India Lane and Michael Sims, and is one of two established faculty development programs at a U. S. veterinary college. The MTP provides programs and leadership that support professionalism in teaching practices and innovation.
  • 2009   -  Stem cell research at UT brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Graduate School of Medicine, and the College of Engineering to form the Regenerative Medicine Alliance of Tennessee. Drs. Madhu Dhar, Dennis Geiser, David Anderson, Jim Schumacher, Steve Adair and Maria Cekanova are among the veterinary faculty involved in research and use of stem cells in regenerative therapy.
  • 2013  -  The Center of Excellence celebrates 30 years of research and scholarly contributions.  Center support has resulted in the generation of preliminary data that allowed researchers to be competitive at the national level.  Highlights include Dr. Barry Rouse, one of the first viral immunologists to study the herpes virus; he has received renewed NIH funding since 1978. Drs. David Bemis and Stephen Kania’s work led to a change to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute susceptibility testing guidelines for methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolated from dogs.
  • 2013 - Veterinary surgeon Dr. Karen Tobias invents the Universal Tobias Clip (UT Clip) to speed the process of bandaging, securing catheters or closing wounds on animals.2013    The new $21 million 85,000-square-foot equine and large animal addition is dedicated, with new facilities for food animals, equine surgery, ICU, isolation, and clinical applications.  Included in the structure is the Equine Performance and Rehabilitation facility.

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